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Masters of Networks is back!

Author: Alberto Cottica Tags: , , , Comments: 0 Date: 16 Mar 2014
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Designing for emergent effects in social dynamics may seem a contradiction in terms, and – if left unqualified – it is. And yet it is a very tempting goal for INSITErs, as we progress on our quest to imbuing innovation activities with social values that would make any changes resulting from such activities “good”, for some value of good. Just one year ago, by initiative of the University of Alicante group, we gathered an unusual bunch of policy makers and network scientists to look at public policy issues – and the data trail they leave to look at this very question. We called this gathering Masters of Networks.

I like to think of MoN as a success. I enjoyed it immensely; more importantly, it spawned a collaboration between the University of Bordeaux group (Benjamin Renoust in particular) and the World Bank, brokered by UNDP’s Millie Begovic. Millie also came up with a precious testimony of just how fruitful such diverse collaboration can be. Granted, dialog across our different languages was not always easy, but this is part and parcel of interdisciplinarity.

Since this approach seems to have worked, we are doing the obvious thing: iterating. Masters of Networks 2 takes place in Rome, at The Hub Roma, on April 9th and 10th 2014. Think of it as an interdisciplinary hackathon around network science, with policy makers to ask relevant question, network scientists to help model it, data scientists to crunch the data and policy makers again to interpret the results. We will be working on two issues, in parallel:

  • one group will be looking at the network of conversation of an online community called Edgeryders. The idea is test if the notion of network entanglement (recently proposed by a MoN1 protagonist, Benjamin Renoust) can be used to detect emerging specialization in an online conversation. If so, it would be extremely useful for people interested in collective intelligence; all other things being equal, specialization allows online conversations to scale without becoming overwhelming, and online communities to tackle more problems in parallel.
  • the other group will be looking at some subset of the OpenCoesione dataset (massive: it maps 700,000 projects funded by cohesion funds), looking for regularities much in the same way of the exercise run on World Bank procurement data mentioned above.

For now, we have confirmed the presence of:

  • Luca Mearelli, Wikitalia
  • Guy Melançon, INRIA
  • Raffaele Miniaci
  • Giovanni Ponti, University of Alicante
  • Benjamin Renoust, University of Bordeaux
  • Khatuna Sandroshvili, UNDP Georgia
  • myself, University of Alicante and Edgeryders
  • Aline Pennisi, Italy’s State accounting service
  • Fabrizio Cobis, Nicola Bianchi and Roberto Pagnani, Italy’s Education ministry
  • Gaia Marcus, Royal Society of Arts.
  • Federico Bo, Cineama
  • Mathieu Ferry, Sciences Po
  • Tito Bianchi, DPS-UVAL
  • Carlotta Mismetti-Capua,  D di Repubblica
  • Jonne Catshoek, Elva
  • Matteo Fortini, University of Bologna
  • Paolo Gurisatti, ECLT

More invitations are in the loop; more importantly, everyone is welcome: the event is completely open. If you are interested in public policies, networks science, data science; if you think you would enjoy an interdisciplinary public policy hackathon-ish, Masters of Networks is the place for you. It is also free of charge, though we will have to cap the number of attendees to about 20 people. If you want to attend, just drop me a line of email at alberto [at] cottica [dot] net. We might even be able to help you if you  wish to attend and need support! How cool is that? More detailed information to be released as they come. Are you ready?

Call for tender: video production

Author: Insite Staff Tags: There is no tags Comments: 1 Date: 15 Mar 2014
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Life is a storyboard. And it’s determined by crossroads, and decisions that we make in those critical turning points. Change the decision at the crossroad, you change your life.
As part of the EU project INSITE “The Innovation Society, Sustainability, and ICT” (EU Coordination Action, aiming to explore the concept of social innovation and ICT) GA n. 271574 the European Centre for Living Technologies aims to document the results achieved in a series of international workshops. ECLT also aims to communicate to the widest possible audience the notions, as above, of storyboards, crossroads and decisions.
The service provider is invited to develop a project that satisfies the following requisites:

  • Content: INSITE project’s results, as already explained
  • Target: the broader possible: common people, manager, policy makers, institutions, etc…
  • Goals: production of a video (4’ max), suitable for viral dissemination, appointed with online distribution/communication strategy and able to involve – even proactively – the target. The video can express its efficacy through the most different ways, and so it can be ironic, surprising, emotional, educational, interactive, etc..
  • Project realization deadline: before the end of May 2014

Download the full ToR


Deadline for proposals’ submission: 2014-03-31
Proposal must be sent to: eclt@unive.it Subject: INSITE VIDEO

Designing a more sustainable Europe: stories for Change and Innovation

Author: Insite Staff Tags: There is no tags Comments: 0 Date: 14 Jan 2014
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The first INSITE workshop of 2014 will focus on Narratives about Sustainability, Innovation and Local Development issues within the European Union with the aim to foster a concrete and stimulating dialogue with the invited organizations (DIPOs – Distributed Innovation Policy Organizations) on how it could be designed and developed a common strategy for guiding the cascades of changes – induced by innovation projects – towards a more socially and environmentally sustainable future. As an INSITE workshop, the meeting will provide the participants with a common ground: social innovation as defined by prof. David A. Lane.

The workshop will be divided into two parts. Thursday the 30th and Friday the 31st of January will consist of scheduled presentations and roundtables, which will address the mentioned issues also by using the approach (and tools) developed within the Emergence by Design project (www.emergencebydesign.org).

Saturday the 1st of February will be dedicated to working groups and discussion that will form around topics of common interest that would have emerged, both during the first sessions and in preliminary online talks among the workshop’s participants. The speakers are invited to send in advance the narratives regarding the story of change and innovation they wish to put on the table during the workshop.

Read the agenda of the event »

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What impact can games and new teaching technologies have on the process of education and learning?

Western society is based on re-inventing itself every couple of decades. If the rate of invention is slowing down, (which practically never happened in the past 300 years) this has drastic consequences for western society and the survival of its values. Science, natural science in pariticular, is at the heart of driving innovation dynamics.

For innovation dynamics to run in a self-sustained way it is key to educate potential innovaters, to educate future users of the innovations, and to engage people to understand the use and broader meaning of innovations. If people do not accept innovations they will not survive, and cannot be used to build upon.
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Global Solutions Networks – the last chance to turn this world around?

Author: Lucas Fulling Tags: There is no tags Comments: 0 Date: 23 Sep 2013
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GSNGlobal relations are governed by institutions, spanning topics like trade (GATT and later WTO), climate change (UNFCC) and global security (UNSC), most of which were set up following World War II. In these institutions, governments, representing the people come together to make global decisions to sustain the status quo and solve common problems. All of these institutions have had successes and failures in the past, but increasingly complex and more interconnected global problems such as water shortage, climate change, and poverty, combined with a lack of institutional reform, means we are stuck with a 1950s model for 21st century problems.

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INSITE workshop on Games, Science and Society

Author: Insite Staff Tags: There is no tags Comments: 0 Date: 18 Sep 2013
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When new communication technologies become accessible to many, this may have tremendous impact on society: social bonds change and re-arrange massively both in quantity and quality, leading to potentially massive changes in social dynamics and eventually society. This is especially true for the new possibilities currently opening through the combination of internet, DIY technologies, smart devices, computer games, and new media.

At this workshop we discuss the new technologies and their impacts on science, how it might change, and how it will be taught. We discuss novel ideas to use the new technology in knowledge production and dissemination. We show already realized accomplishments in the field of crowd sourcing scientific knowledge production such as scientific discovery games, that involve the interaction and coordination of people through online platforms. With these platforms it becomes possible for the first time to understand the processes of knowledge production on a quantitative basis.
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Developing a process to test the barriers of online engagement by European civil society organisations

Author: Insite Staff Tags: There is no tags Comments: 0 Date: 24 Jun 2013
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New technology has helped citizens to bridge the gap between borders and boundaries. Australia doesn’t seem to be very far anymore, neither does your MP nor membership in a global movement. A lot of work to connect citizens has been done to connect citizens through ICT platforms like facebook, twitter, or AVAAZ. However, organisations that have been put into place in pre-internet times to act as the bridge between citizens and policy makers have had difficulties to transform themselves into a platform, helping citizens to connect amongst each other and with policy makers.
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INSITE and Masters of Networks at Policy Making 2.0

Author: Alberto Cottica Tags: , , Comments: 0 Date: 21 Jun 2013
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When we designed the Masters of Networks event we made a point of connecting it to the Crossover Project, tasked with helping the European Commission to write the research programme around future policy making. What kind of research, in the specific area of network science, could enable better policy making?

We have been discussing this at INSITE – especially, but not only, within the Alicante group – before, during and after MoN. So, when Crossover asked me to give a presentation about network science at their final conference in Dublin, aptly called Policy Making 2.0, I was ready for it. I ended up giving a talk called Thinking in Networks: What It Means for Policy Makers. My annotated slides – heavily influenced from the MoN debate and the prototype of networks analysis software for gauging participatory processes – are here.

P2P Food Lab project awarded @ OuiShare Fest

Author: Insite Staff Tags: There is no tags Comments: 0 Date: 24 May 2013
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P2P Food Lab project won the 2013 edition of OuiShare Awards in Paris (http://ouisharefest.com) in the P2P category.

The competition was really challenging and P2P Food Lab project (proposed by the University of Barcelona, OKNO Belgium, the Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Paris, ECLT at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice and Libelium Communicaciones Distribuidas) was up against four other fantastic projects that made it to the last round (in total there were a 100 submissions to the Awards).

This award will give the project – whose main aim is to design and develop a Collective Awareness Platform for peer-to-peer urban food systems – a good visibility in what is now a growing community of people and organizations that understand the need and the value of sharing economy, hands-on, bottom-up, P2P projects.


Final CROSSOVER Conference in Policy Making 2.0

Author: Francesco Mureddu Tags: There is no tags Comments: 0 Date: 10 May 2013

Join us in Dublin to explore the emerging technologies and trends that are changing the way policy is made. The FP7 Crossover Conference will be held directly before the Digital Agenda Assembly on 17th & 18th June at Trinity College

What will be discussed?

  • Open and big data
  • Visual analytics
  • Modelling and simulation
  • Collaborative Governance and Crowdsourcing
  • Serious Gaming
  • Opinion Mining

Invited speakers include:

  • Miguel Gonzalez Sancho, Member of Cabinet of VP Kroes (keynote speaker)
  • Emer Coleman, former Deputy Director of UK Government Digital Service
  • Alberto Cottica, Policy-Making powered by Networks
  • Igor Mayer, Serious games for policy
  • Eliot Rich, Systems Thinking, System Dynamics, and Group Decision Support
  • Anna Carbone, FuturICT
  • Jed Shilling, Millennium Institute